York Vikings’ ‘Battle Spectacular’ thwarted by stormy weather

battle-hardened as they may be, the weekend storms proved too fierce even for Vikings at the weekend.

Said to be the stormiest February half-term in over 30 years, the Jorvik Viking Festival’s son-et-lumière performance at the Eye of York was called off on Saturday.

But visitors to the city still joined the celebrations as Viking hordes filled the city. A spokesman for the event organisers said: “With regret, the weather conditions are so poor that safety concerns make hosting the Battle Spectacular (on Saturday) impossible.

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“We have been unable to set the barriers or raise the lighting rigs which are a crucial part of the safety arrangements.”

Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
22nd February 2020.Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
22nd February 2020.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe 22nd February 2020. | JPI Medi Ltd Resell

He said he hoped visitors and re-enactors will understand this decision, adding: “We have been remarkably unlucky with the weather this year.”

But the Strongest Viking Competition, the annual Best Beard competition and the March to Coppergate all took place.

The Jorvik Viking Festival Symposium, which took place yesterday, went ahead as planned at York St John University. Event manager, Gareth Henry. of York Archaeological Trust, said: “The winds filling sails on Viking ships helped them voyage around the world, but sadly they have frustrated a number of our events during this year’s Jorvik Viking Festival.

“We were able to relocate our Viking encampment and have-a-go activities, but unfortunately the high winds made it impossible to host our Battle Spectacular on Saturday evening.”

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